The South Asia Channel

Daily brief: 20 reported killed in Pakistan drone strike

Missiles from the skies As many as 20 alleged militants were killed in a suspected U.S. drone strike in Ghulam Khan near the North Waziristan border with Afghanistan earlier today, the 101st reported strike this year and ninth this month (Geo, Dawn/agencies, BBC, AP, Reuters, CNN). Around 90 percent of this year’s reported strikes have ...

RIZWAN TABASSUM/AFP/Getty Images
RIZWAN TABASSUM/AFP/Getty Images

Missiles from the skies

As many as 20 alleged militants were killed in a suspected U.S. drone strike in Ghulam Khan near the North Waziristan border with Afghanistan earlier today, the 101st reported strike this year and ninth this month (Geo, Dawn/agencies, BBC, AP, Reuters, CNN). Around 90 percent of this year’s reported strikes have taken place in North Waziristan (NAF).

A man from Orakzai allegedly associated with Jamaat-ud-Dawa, the charity front organization for the militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba, and the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan was arrested yesterday after a foiled attempt to use a bomb in a pair of books to attack an office of the Criminal Investigations Agency in Islamabad (Dawn, ET). During his interrogation, Muhammad Rafeeq reportedly confessed his involvement with the bombing of the World Food Program’s office in Islamabad last October and said his son was a suicide bomber who attacked the Naval Complex Gate in Islamabad last year.

Flood watch: Japan and Saudi Arabia pledged an additional $500 million loan and $400 million in reconstruction aid, respectively, for flood-affected areas in Pakistan, and the U.S. announced that it will reallocate $500 million of Kerry-Lugar funds for flood aid (ET, Daily Times). Around 20 million people were affected by the summer’s flooding. 

Grave circumstances

A parliamentary candidate and a retired policeman were killed earlier today in the Khan Abad district of Kunduz province when a bomb in a graveyard exploded as the men prayed to mark the beginning of Eid al-Adha (Reuters, Pajhwok). The mayor of Kunduz City, who had been praying at the grave of his brother, a jihadi commander, was wounded along with four civilians in the attack. In the Watarpur district of Kunar province, Afghan and NATO forces have been fighting insurgents for five days and reportedly taking heavy fire (AP).

Top commander in Afghanistan Gen. David Petraeus reportedly made "hypothetical" references to an "inability to continue U.S. operations" following Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s remarks criticizing coalition night raids in Afghanistan and calling for a reduction in military operations over the weekend, though Afghan and American officials have sought to downplay any rifts, as American and NATO officials defended the coalition’s strategy in the country (Post, Times, Post, CNN, AFP, Guardian, Tel, FT). The NYT goes in depth into Karzai’s opposition to night raids, which have tripled in the last three months (NYT). Karzai commented, "The Afghan people don’t like these raids. If there is any raid, it has to be done by the Afghan government, within the Afghan laws," and coalition officials say Afghan forces are full partners in the raids.

Karzai issued an Eid al-Adha plea for peace and urged Taliban fighters to reconcile with the Afghan government, a day after Taliban leader Mullah Omar’s rejection of any peace talks (AP, Pajhwok).

Eid Mubarak

Dawn.com is running a colorful slideshow of Pakistanis preparing for the Feast of the Sacrifice on November 17, which Muslims celebrate with the sacrificial killing of sheep, goats, cows, or camels (Dawn). Many of the animals pictured are wearing decorations.

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